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Mayra Andrade: Navega

It is remarkable how many international musical influences Mayra Andrade has synthesized in so brief a time. The 23-year-old, though often referred to as Cape Verdean (and equally often cited as the heiress apparent to Cesaria Evora), has also lived in Cuba (where she was born), Senegal, Angola, Germany, Portugal and Paris, where she now resides. Exhibiting maturity well beyond her years, the assured newcomer employs all she’s absorbed to full advantage throughout her captivating debut.

With a voice as bright and inviting as a ray of sunshine yet as arresting as a lighting bolt, Andrade enriches the vibrant Cape Verdean tradition of morna as she travels from the Creole-drenched politicizing of “Dimokránsa,” the sweet intimacy of “Regasu” and the fiery, bittersweet romanticism of “Lapidu Na Bo” to the self-penned title track, a hypnotizing piece that undulates like rapidly shifting tides as it greets the ocean as both friend and foe (a popular Cape Verdean theme, often explored by Evora). Musically speaking, she may be waving the Cape Verdean flag, but the winds that make it billow emerge from all corners of the globe.

Originally Published